The digital impact on the supply chain: The servitization of agri-food industry
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ServitizationSupply Chain Management
For decades, many firms have been deeply transformed due to the creation and integration of digital technologies in different processes or instances, conceptualized as digitalization. In the specific case of manufacturing industry, this trend has been described as Industry 4.0. Simultaneously, manufacturing firms tend to adapt their business model by including more service offerings to gain competitiveness, described theoretically as servitization. Research on those topics has already provided many case studies for the manufacturing industry. Within this industry, the agri-food sector, though, is sidelined. Nowadays, there is no paper dealing with servitization of agri-food and we face a lack of global overview regarding the digital revolution. However, significant implications are affecting agri-food towards being more agile and fast to increase and diversify offerings in order to answer specific customers’ needs. Therefore, the supply chain is deeply changing and faces more complexity. Not only a better economic performance is expected based on capture and advanced analysis of data, but also more sustainability and interconnectivity through corporate social responsibility (CSR) or creating shared value (CSV) to avoid waste and redundant operations. The following thesis aims to provide a theoretical contribution about the impact of digital technologies in the supply chain as imperative enablers of the servitization of agri-food sector. The first section will introduce the subject and the research gap. The second section is dedicated to a state of research of servitization, digitalization and their mutual influences for the manufacturing industry. The third section is a methodology that aims to analyze the main issues to be taken into account. The fourth section is a dynamic description to show that the application of digital tools in the supply chain contribute directly to the servitization of agri-food firms.